1. I published my IndieWebCamp Logo Study yesterday and posted it in the #IndieWebCamp IRC channel. And asked for feedback in channel and on Twitter.

    Crystal Beasley, the designer of the original IndieWebCamp logo, gave her approval of my redesign.

    @veganstraightedge @andigalpern @t @aaronpk As the person who designed the first one, I approve!

    @CrystalDBeasley

    Tantek pointed out that Andi Galpern had redesigned the IndieWebCamp logo as well some time ago. Andi re-posted it to Twitter along with some feedback of mine.

    Below is my response to Andi’s feedback on my redesign, as well as feedback on her redesign.

    Response to Andi’s Feedback on my Redesign

    Good W

    Andi tweeted:

    @veganstraightedge I really like your treatment of the “W”. I also like how you explained your process step-by-step. :-)

    @andigalpern

    Thanks! I was really happy with that too. It was one of my goals to make both keep the regular polygon geometricness while also making the forms read more like their respective letters. The W was a great success, I think. It no longer looks like a V, but still has that great triangle to it (twice even!).

    Andi again:

    “Indie” vs “Web”

    @veganstraightedge Also, I think the word “Indie” should be emphasized instead of “web”.

    @andigalpern

    I respectfully disagree. Lots of things are quoteunquote indie that we as the Indie Web don’t have much in common with.

    #indieauth (while also the name of our authentication startegy) is about book self-publishers. #indiebeer is beer makers. Indie Rock is just an aesthetic, having nothing to do with an ethos anymore (if it ever did). #indiegame is video games (mostly published to very closed platforms) built by one or a few people. Indie.vc is a slight twist on venture capital investment. Not to mention whatever that mess is over at ind.ie which is emphatically not indieweb.

    I believe that the communities and ethos that we (the Indie Web) have the most in common with are other web communites. Bloggers, open web, web standards. Folks like that who are most of the way there already. Getting a blogger to be indieweb is a matter adding rel-me to some links and owning a domain (not a sub-domain). That’s a pretty low barrier to entry. Whereas getting any kind of affinity with, say, an indie rock band or an indie game developer is a bigger hurdle to clear.

    For our purposes, all of the indie in the world doesn’t matter without the web.

    On a thinner I

    @veganstraightedge would you consider making the “i” thinner? IMO, It’s a bit too wide.

    @andigalpern

    Again, respectfully, no. I understand the logics of making it thinner to make it more like an I. But the trade-offs that come with that direction aren’t worth it to me.

    Those trade-offs, as I see them are:

    • The overall weight and balance of the logomark is shifted to the right and thrown off. Especially with that triangle in the middle that acts as a center point fulcrum. The whole thing tips to right now because the C’s circle is heavier than the I’s skinny (non-square) rectangle. (To be clear, I mean visually/optically, not just geometrically/matematically.)
    • If “indie” is the most important part that should get the focus (which I disagree with, see above), then by making the I thinner that makes it (and its corresponding word) less important.
    • Also, by making the I thinner, the word “indie” in the logotype gets even less aligned with the I which pushes the word “web” farther away from the W as well.
    • Finally, making the I thinner loses the squareness of it. I think the simplicity of [square, equilateral, circle] is really great. I tried to keep that in tact in my redesign.

    My feedback on Andi’s Redesign

    I remembered that someone had posted in the #IndieWebCamp IRC channel a logo redesign/refinement some months ago. Tantek reminded me that it was Andi Galpern.

    For comparison, I’ve included the current IndieWebCamp logo.

    I also took a stab at redesigning the @indiewebcamp logo. https://twitter.com/andigalpern/status/694939629175332864/photo/1

    @andigalpern

    “Andi Galpern IndieWebCamp logo redesign”

    I’ve included the image here. (The image is a little bit JPEGy because of Twitter’s heavy image compression. If I get a higher quality copy from Andi, I’ll replace this one.)

    I think Andi’s is definitely an improvement of Crystal’s original, but it doesn’t go far enough.

    The Good

    Here are the things I like about Andi’s:

    • The flat color are better than the grandient. I did a similar thing with mine.
    • The lowered white lines / dots gives better balance and makes the I and C read a little bit more like an I and C.
    • The logotype is better typeset in a better typeface. (I love Futura, just not at this weight.)
    • The spacing between the I and W and the W and C are more even.

    The Bad

    • The logotype is just a smidge wider than the logomark. Which could be tweaked and fixed if it was the only thing.
    • The white lines / dots, while lowered are at vertical center. The close but no cigar looks like sloppy clarity of intent. Are these just eye-balled or measured? Again, this is just a little thing that could be tweaked and fixed if it was the only thing too.
    • Like with the original, I think the black logotype with color logomark gives the wrong visual hierarchy. If you squint and blur the whole logo, it’s the black logotype that dominates, not the color logomark. I think that’s the opposite of what should happen.
    • The visual balance is thrown off to the right by making the I a tall thin rectangle insteadof a square. (Like I said above), the center point of the bottom of the triangle acts as a kind of visual fulcrum. The original is carefully balanced on that fulcrum. This one is tipped to the right.
    • Also, by making the I tall and skinny instead of a square, the words “indie” and “web” are no longer aligned well with their letters.
    • While I understand the intent of Crystal’s original logo, I’ve never thought that the square, triangle and circle read as I, W and C very much. Only if I thought about it and kind hand-waved could I see them as letters. By making the I a tally skinny rectangle, the I looks more like an I. But in the process, it makes the W and C look even less like a W and C. The I, W and C are one part letter and two parts shapes.

    Holding my own logo redesign up to the same criteria, here’s how I think I did (obvious bias):

    • I kept the geometriciness of the shapes while also improving the letteriness of the I, W and C.
    • Admittedly, the C is the least strong of the three. Removing that block from the knockout of the C turns it into a weird unpleasant shape and throws of the balance of the whole thing. Use a circle knockout turned it into a cresent moon. So, this was the compromise that I was most happy with.
    • The overall weight and balance of the logo is good and even, with or without the logotype.
    • It works well in black outlines, solid black or three color.
    • The word “web” is centered up underneath the W and the words “indie” and “camp” fall out evenly in both directions.
    • All of the shapes, sizes and distances were measured and used for a reason. None were eye-balled. (Again, those are little things could be improved easily in Andi’s redesign.)

    Conclusion

    Given all of that, and my obvious bias, I stand behind my logo redesign and would ask the IndieWebCamp community to approve and adopt it (using it on the wiki, at events, for stickers, tshirts, badges, banners, buttons, etc).

    (Jump to bottom to see the final iteration of my logo study.)

    I’ve been a part of the #indieweb community for several years now. I attended the very first IndieWebCamp in Portland in 2011. I’ve always loved a lot about this community — its ideas and ideals, its technology and approach to new technology, its events and structure. Like anything, its not without flaws. Socially, technologically, structurarlly.

    One little thing about IndieWebCamp that has always bothered me a little is the branding in general and the logo in particular. And given my experience and ability, I felt like this was something that I could take a stab at improving it.

    * — as of publishing this article, 2016–02–02

    Current* IndieWebCamp (logomark and logotype

    What I like about this logo:

    • the simplicity of it
    • the silhouette of the logomark forms
    • the colorway

    What I don’t like this logo:

    • the white lines with dots (too 80s “tech” looking)
    • the gradient
    • that the forms don’t read as their respective letters (I, W, C)
    • the spacing between I & W and W & C isn’t consistent
    • the logotype (weight, spacing, position, visual hierarchy, all of it)

    Dropping the logotype really improves the visual hierarchy of it.

    Current* IndieWebCamp (logomark and NO logotype)

    Sketches

    In the Notes.app on my phone, I sketched a couple ideas with my finger.

    My goals were:

    • to make the logomark read more like its letters (I, W, C)
    • re-use the regular polygons from current logo
    • get rid of the lines with dots

      Finger sketch in Notes.app (square I base)

    </figcaption> </figure>

    Finger sketch in Notes.app (square entire I)

    Pen sketch on paper (square I base and C with circle and square knockouts)

    Silhouette

    The silhouette of the current IndieWebCamp logo is pretty good by itself. I would use this as a point of reference as I worked through different iterations.

    Current IndieWebCamp silhouette of regular polygons

    New IndieWebCamp Logo Iterations

    The I with square base and dot made of two squares. C made of two circles.

    I didn’t like the I or the C. The I’s split dot just doesn’t work and the C looks like an olive or a cresent moon or a Death Star.

    The I overlaid on a Golden Rectangle

    I overlaid the sketch on a Golden Rectangle to try to use it as a proportion guide.

    The I scaled to Golden Rectangle proportion

    I tried making the I’s square base the square of a Golden Rectangle and the overall I height commensurate to that square. I scaled up the C and stretched up the W. I also allowed both triangles of the W to be visible.

    Current IndieWebCamp logo’s silhouette overlaid on new sketch

    I had lost the regular polygons of the current IndieWebCamp logo’s silhouette. So, I overlaid to head back that direction.

    Re-scaled to current IndieWebCamp logo’s silhouette’s size

    I scaled the IWC mark to match the current IndieWebCamp logo’s silhouette. Then used a rectangle instead of a circle to make the C’s knockout. The W also went back to opaque triangles.

    Removed current IndieWebCamp logo’s silhouette

    I removed current IndieWebCamp logo’s silhouette.

    Horizontal Golden Rectangles in I anc C

    I rotated the Golden Rectangle 90° and used it to size the base of the I and the size of the C’s knockout.

    Removed Golden Rectangle guides

    Then I removed the Golden Rectangles.

    Guides for adjusting spacing

    At this point I was pretty happy with the direction the shapes of the marks, so I shifted to the spacing between them. I used the amount of the Golden Rectangle in the C that was overhanging the outer edge (while the rectangle was aligned with the center of the C’s circle) as the unit of distance between each mark.

    Solid one color version

    I made the marks solid black and thickened the separation lines in the W and the C.

    Three color version

    Finally, I got to where I could add some color. I chose three colors from the current IndieWebCamp logo. The left most pixel color in the I, the middle pixel of the W and the right most pixel of the C.

    At this point, I felt pretty happy with the three versions (outlines, black, three color). I posted up a little preview.

    Transparent Rectangle Golden in C

    After letting it marinate in my brain for a bit, I came back to it and decided that the C wasn’t working as a C. It read too much like a G. @snarfed mentioned this too.

    Golden Rectangle masked by C’s circle

    I cut the edge of the Golden Rectangle that was hanging outside of the C’s circle. Which I like a lot better and it read as a C a lot more.

    Solid one color version

    I applied the solid black and thick separators again.

    Three color version

    I then added the colors back in. And now, I was really liking it.

    Outlines with logotype

    I added the word (hashtag) “#indiewebcamp” in Helvetica Neue Thin and Light. The versions I tried with lowercase, separate words and not as a hashtag all felt imbalanced. The three words are different character lengths and physcial sizes. The space between the words was either not the same or “web” wasn’t under the W. I made “web” the boldest to increase reability and because none of what we’re trying to do with IndieWebCamp is possible without the web itself.

    One color with logotype

    I had to thicken the logotype up a little bit for the solid one color version.

    Three color version with logotype

    Here’s the three color version with the same logotype as the one color version. The balance and weight is good, but I don’t love the combination of black logotype with three color logomark.

    Thicker lines outline version

    I then realized that if I thickened the lines of the outline version, I could use the same logotype as the other versions.

    One color with thicker logotype

    I then bumped up the weight of the logotype on the one color version as well.

    Color logomark with logotype

    I added color to the logotype too. But I didn’t like the I and “#indie” being yellow. They lacked the weight and their importance deserves. Especially given that indie is the whole point of this.

    Changed color order

    So, I flipped the colors of the I/#indie and C/camp. Which I think works a lot better.

    Before and After Comparisons

    Current and New IndieWebCamp logo comparison

    Here’s the current logomark (above) and my proposed new logomark (below).

    Current and New IndieWebCamp logo comparison

    Here’s the current logomark and logotype (above) and my proposed new logomark and logotype (below).

    I am proposing that we retire the current IndieWebCamp logo and use this new logo instead. Below are the outline, one color and full color versions.

    If accepted and adopted by the community, I would do a full work up and style guide about when (and how) to use each version. Additionally, I’d create horizontal versions and explore a square/circle version usable for avatar and icons.

    Final proposed new IndieWebCamp logo

    Final proposed new IndieWebCamp logo

    Final proposed new IndieWebCamp logo

    All discussion about this proposal should take place on the IndieWebCamp wiki /logo page.

    Marco wrote about the movies that he hasn’t seen in the past 15 years. Which got me thinking about how many of them that I’d seen. (Thanks to Marco for compiling the list and posting about.) Here’s my list.

    Key: Seen it (172), Haven’t seen it (69)

    2000

    • Gladiator
    • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    • Traffic
    • What Women Want
    • Meet the Parents
    • Chocolat
    • Erin Brockovich
    • Mission: Impossible II
    • Cast Away
    • Dinosaur
    • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
    • The Perfect Storm
    • X-Men
    • What Lies Beneath

    2001

    • A Beautiful Mind
    • Monsters, Inc.
    • Ocean’s Eleven
    • Gosford Park
    • In the Bedroom
    • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    • Moulin Rouge
    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
    • Shrek
    • Pearl Harbor
    • The Mummy Returns
    • Jurassic Park III
    • Planet of the Apes
    • Hannibal

    2002

    • Spider-Man
    • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
    • Men in Black II
    • Die Another Day
    • Minority Report
    • Chicago
    • Gangs of New York
    • The Hours
    • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
    • The Pianist
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    • Signs
    • Ice Age
    • My Big Fat Greek Wedding

    2003

    • Finding Nemo
    • The Matrix Reloaded
    • The Matrix Revolutions
    • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    • Lost in Translation
    • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
    • Mystic River
    • Seabiscuit
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
    • Bruce Almighty
    • The Last Samurai
    • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
    • X2
    • Bad Boys II

    2004

    • The Incredibles
    • Ocean’s Twelve
    • Million Dollar Baby
    • The Aviator
    • Finding Neverland
    • Ray
    • Sideways
    • Shrek 2
    • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    • Spider-Man 2
    • The Passion of the Christ
    • The Day After Tomorrow
    • Meet the Fockers
    • Troy
    • Shark Tale

    2005

    • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
    • Crash
    • Brokeback Mountain
    • Capote
    • Good Night, and Good Luck
    • Munich
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    • War of the Worlds
    • King Kong
    • Madagascar
    • Mr. and Mrs. Smith
    • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    • Batman Begins
    • Hitch

    2006

    • Little Miss Sunshine
    • Casino Royale
    • Cars
    • The Departed
    • Babel
    • Letters from Iwo Jima
    • The Queen
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
    • The Da Vinci Code
    • Ice Age: The Meltdown
    • Night at the Museum
    • X-Men: The Last Stand
    • Mission: Impossible III
    • Superman Returns
    • Happy Feet

    2007

    • No Country for Old Men
    • Juno
    • Ratatouille
    • I Am Legend
    • Atonement
    • Michael Clayton
    • There Will Be Blood
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
    • Spider-Man 3
    • Shrek the Third
    • Transformers
    • The Simpsons Movie
    • National Treasure: Book of Secrets
    • 300

    2008

    • The Dark Knight
    • Quantum of Solace
    • WALL-E
    • Slumdog Millionaire
    • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    • Frost/Nixon
    • Milk
    • The Reader
    • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    • Kung Fu Panda
    • Hancock
    • Mamma Mia!
    • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
    • Iron Man
    • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

    2009

    • The Hurt Locker
    • Avatar
    • The Blind Side
    • District 9
    • An Education
    • Inglourious Basterds
    • Precious
    • A Serious Man
    • Up
    • Up in the Air
    • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
    • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
    • 2012
    • The Twilight Saga: New Moon
    • Sherlock Holmes
    • Angels & Demons
    • The Hangover

    2010

    • The Social Network
    • Toy Story 3
    • The Kings’ Speech
    • 127 Hours
    • Black Swan
    • The Fighter
    • Inception
    • The Kids Are All Right
    • True Grit
    • Winter’s Bone
    • Alice in Wonderland
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
    • Shrek Forever After
    • The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
    • Iron Man 2
    • Tangled
    • Despicable Me
    • How to Train Your Dragon

    2011

    • The Artist
    • The Descendants
    • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    • The Help
    • Hugo
    • Midnight in Paris
    • Moneyball
    • The Tree of Life
    • War Horse
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
    • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
    • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1
    • Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol
    • Kung Fu Panda 2
    • Fast Five
    • The Hangover Part II
    • The Smurfs
    • Cars 2

    2012

    • Skyfall
    • Argo
    • Amour
    • Beasts of the Southern WIld
    • Django Unchained
    • Les Misérables
    • Life of Pi
    • Lincoln
    • Silver Linings Playbook
    • Zero Dark Thirty
    • The Avengers
    • The Dark Knight Rises
    • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    • Ice Age: Continental Drift
    • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2
    • The Amazing Spider-Man
    • Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
    • The Hunger Games
    • Men in Black 3

    2013

    • Monsters University
    • 12 Years a Slave
    • American Hustle
    • Captain Phillips
    • Dallas Buyers Club
    • Gravity
    • Her
    • Nebraska
    • Philomena
    • The Wolf of Wall Street
    • Frozen
    • Iron Man 3
    • Despicable Me 2
    • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
    • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
    • Fast & Furious 6
    • Man of Steel
    • Thor: The Dark World

    2014

    • Birdman
    • American Sniper
    • Boyhood
    • The Grand Budapest Hotel
    • The Imitation Game
    • Selma
    • The Theory of Everything
    • Whiplash
    • Transformers: Age of Extinction
    • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    • Guardians of the Galaxy
    • Maleficent
    • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
    • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    • Interstellar

    In 2009 I left Seattle for another go at The Great American Roadtrip for what would turn out to be 6 months. When I was in Salt Lake City, I threw together a last minute show to see four of my friends’ bands. The venue was my minivan, a 1993 GMC Safari. Actually, in the van, both bands and audience. The lineup was:

    1. The Mooks
    2. James Miska
    3. Fuck, Yes!!!!
    4. Bombs and Beating Hearts

    It’s maybe the punkest DIYest thing I’ve ever done.

    The Mooks

    James Miska

    Fuck, Yes!!!!

    Bombs and Beating Hearts

    Before the show

    After the show

    I love abandoned places.

    Especially, highly visible abandoned places. Or places that used to be bustling and a big deal. Everytime that I’ve gone to Palm Spring, CA I’ve gone by a place that is clearly a former auto dealership. It’s right there on the main street in the main part of town. There’s no missing it. There was a time when this place was full of energy and people and commerce.

    Now, it’s just nothing.

    I’ve always meant to take some photos of it. So, when I was leaving town after Yes and Yes Yes 002 (#YxYY), I stopped in and took a whole bunch of photos. Here are just eight of them.